Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Davidia - Dove Tree

The Dove Tree is a native of damp woods in sw China and is extremely endangered in the wild and also rare in cultivation. It is a broadly-conical very beautiful tree that is fast growing to a maximum size of 50 x 20 feet in 20 years. 60 x 26 feet in 25 years and capable of attaining 100 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet with extreme age ( meaning not in anyones lifetime ). It is related to the native Tupelos ( Nyssa ) trees. It is moderately long-lived, averaging to 145 year.
The sharply-toothed leaves are heart-shaped to 6 or rarely 10 x 7 inches in size. The foliage is pinkish during spring turning glossy mid-green above, densely hairy beneath in summer then to golden-yellow during autumn.
The flowers are tiny but it is the large white flower bracts up to 6 or rarely 9 x 5 inches that put on a great show during late spring.
The fruits are rounded and green, up to 1.5 inches across, later ripening to brown.
The attractive bark is orange-brown and peels vertically in flakes.
It is hardy from zone 5 to 9 ( possibly 4 for some seed source on protected sites ) and grows well in the Great Lakes and East Coast preferring moist, deep, fertile soil on sheltered sites. They especially like fertilizers with lots of potassium. They are best trained to a central leader when young with lower branches gradually removed. Propagation is from seed sown immediately upon ripening, germination can take up to 1.5 years but seedlings grow fast. It can also be grown from semi-ripe cuttings taken during late summer. Insect pest and disease problems rarely occur and are not serious.

* photo @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C. on Feb 2009

* photo at Green Spring Gardens, Annandale, Virginia on Oct. 2001

* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photos taken on April 18 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ McCrillis Gardens, Bethesda, MD

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on Apr 24 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

Flowers at a very young age with very large bracts up to 10 inches in length.
The leaves are even larger and darker than the species.

* photos taken on Apr 28 2015 in Mt Airy, MD

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